ASHLAND, Maine — A Presque Isle teenager escaped serious injury Tuesday evening after allegedly leading police on a chase through several towns and crashing into a telephone pole and a parked car.
The incident began when Officer Tyler Cote attempted to stop the 19-year-old for speeding in town, Ashland Police Chief Cyr Martin said Wednesday. The teen’s name is not being released until he sees a judge, Martin said.
Cote at first activated the lights on his cruiser, and when the teen didn’t pull over, he turned on his siren.
“The young man then kept going about another 1,000 feet and didn’t stop, and it was clear he had no intention of stopping,” the police chief said.
Martin said that the teen, who was driving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, wasn’t driving at a high rate of speed during the majority of the pursuit. The driver followed Exchange Street onto Route 227 and then Route 11, where members of the Maine State Police, Presque Isle Police Department and the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit. State police Trooper Nick Casavant laid down a spike mat in the road, but the driver avoided it.
“He then turned and proceeded along Route 163 toward the Mapleton and Presque Isle town line, blew through a stop sign once, and then he slowed down to about 35 mph,” Martin said. “He then saw a telephone pole, and he gunned it.”
Martin said that the teen crashed head on into the pole near the town line and then ricocheted into a nearby parked car, where a woman was sitting inside. The 19-year-old suffered a cut on his arm, and the woman was not injured. Martin did not have details about the woman’s name or the extent of damage to her car.
“The driver told police that he was depressed, and he just drove like he did because he was suicidal and was at the bottom of a hole,” he said. “He was taken to The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle to be checked out as a precaution and then to the Aroostook County Jail [in Houlton].”
He was charged with eluding an officer, passing a roadblock, failure to stop for police, and driving to endanger.
Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Cummings assisted at the scene.